Hi-Point C9 9mm Handgun Review – Shooting Impressions & Field Strip

Hi Point C9 by Graham Baates

U.S.A. – -(Ammoland.com)- It's not likely you'll find someone who knows even a little about firearms who hasn't heard the name Hi-Point.  It's also very likely they'll have something negative to say about them despite never having owned or shot one.  I enjoy firearms literacy and feel that understanding a firearm's intent and design is an important part of being able to properly experience them.  It seems a shockingly-high percentage of the shooting community are illiterate when it comes to Hi-Point pistols so let's take a closer look.

While it is easy to admire the latest $3,000 custom piece, many seem to have missed the intent of Hi-Point; to create a quality firearm that anyone can afford.  Taking into account where most violent crimes occur this is a very noble cause.  Who do you think it more likely to suddenly need a pistol for home defense, the six-figure executive or the inner-city single mother with an aggressive “baby daddy”? Hi-Points are priced at a point where most anyone could afford to pick one up on their way home without needing to budget for it.  Better yet that firearm is backed by a warranty that has even accepted a carbine needing to be barreled after an unknowing owner got a few-dozen slugs stuck in it.

Whenever I post about Hi-Points the trolls inevitably come out and begin to trash talk them.  As we all know trolls tend to be the most ignorant about any subject they so obnoxiously post about, so let's give them some fodder.  The two comments I hear the most are that Hi-Points are ugly and “trash”; more useful as a hammer than a pistol.  Aesthetics is a personal opinion that requires no fact so we can let that part slide.  Reliability and function however must be fact based.

Let's give the trolls something fodder.  Watch the range review video below:

As you saw the C9 only had issues cycling a rather obscure 100gr frangible load.  With all other loads from 90gr to 158gr including hollow points, flat-points, and FMJ, steel-cased, aluminum-cased, and traditional brass all ran.  Accuracy was impressive thanks to the fixed barrel of this blow-back-operated handgun.  While on the topic of blow-back operation, that system is responsible in part for the affordability of the C9, and also the aesthetics.

Blow-back operation does not have a locked breech.  Instead it is the mass of the slide or bolt combined with strength of the operating spring that keep the chamber closed until pressure has dropped off to a safe level.  This requires either a lot of mass in the slide/bolt or a strong spring.  To keep the pistol operable by the average shooter Hi-Point kept the recoil spring softer and instead increased slide mass.  That is why Hi-Points are shaped the way they are.

To get a better look at the construction and design of the Hi-Point C9 see the tabletop video below.

I hope between these two videos the point of Hi-Point has been made clear, and although it's a sample size of one, the C9 tested proved more reliable and more accurate than a few other pistols we've tested that cost hundreds of dollar more.  If that's got your interest in trying one of these incredibly-affordable pieces the specifications and features below were taken directly from the product web page.

  • Barrel length: 3.5″
  • Overall length: 6.75″
  • Weight: 29 oz.
  • Frame: High-impact polymer
  • Finish: Black powder coat or hydro-dipped depending on model
  • Capacity: 8-shot mag standard (10-shot avail)
  • Sights: 3-dots, fully-adjustable rear sight
Other Note-worthy characteristics:
  • +P rated
  • High-impact polymer frame
  • High-impact grips
  • Durable, attractive easy-grip finish
  • 3-dot, fully adjustable sights
  • Free extra rear peep sight
  • Last round lock open
  • Magazine disconnect safety
  • Quick on-off thumb safety
  • Operations & safety sheet
  • Lifetime warranty

G B Guns

About Graham Baates

“Graham Baates” is a pen name used by a 15-year active Army veteran who spent most of his time in the tactical side of the Intelligence community including tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. Post-Army Graham spent some time in the local 3-Gun circuit before becoming a full-time NRA Certified defensive handgun instructor and now works as an industry writer while curating a YouTube channel on the side. Visit Graham on Youtube .

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BillllStacy LeightonAbel SalinasRonnie DasilvaSon of Liberty Recent comment authors
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Abel Salinas
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Abel Salinas

If it won’t cycle frangible rounds then it’s no good for protection. The inner-city single mother with an aggressive baby daddy will miss and kill a neighbor. I owned a high point 9mm in my younger days. It was huge.

Ronnie Dasilva
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Ronnie Dasilva

I owned a Highpoint in the past. Sold it when I moved with my family from NY to NC, didn’t think I’d need it. Shoulda kept it. It was a flawless weapon. I have since bought a Ruger LCP and a Taurus G2C in .40 S&W, got a great deal on both. I’m not a 5-day-a-week range guy. These 2 pistols serve my needs just fine, but honestly, I miss my Highpoint. Big, heavy, ugly… but shot like a dream. Thinking about getting another one, to keep in my nightstand.

Son of Liberty
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Son of Liberty

When Barry was playing wannabe tyrant, the gun rush was on! Prices started soaring, so I dropped a bill and a half on a C9 for grins n’ giggles. Decent pistol for the price. Reloads had an issue jamming, so I polished the rail, and heat temper expanded the magazine spring. Haven’t had a jam since. Field stripping was always an issue because the slide pin is a pain in the buttocks to remove while pulling the slide, but I don’t plan on stripping and cleaning in the boonies. Main point, great gun for the price. Wish more companies would… Read more »

Brad
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Brad

I really enjoyed my hi points I just upgraded polish the rails and get down

Ronald Nuxon
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Ronald Nuxon

While I have never fired the Hi-Point 9mm, I have examined it and was favorably impressed. It is intimidating looking (a feature which could save you from needing to shoot in a confrontation), it fills the hand, points well and feels like it has authority. With the other features outlined in the video, I see no reason one should not seriously consider for at least home defense, or where legal, defense in one’s motor vehicle. Of course, the video’s sampling of ammunition brands must be taken into account for reliable shooting.

Bob Tail
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Bob Tail

They are big, ugly, and smell funny but go bang when you pull the trigger and are fun to shoot. My C9 cost $150 brand new. Quit buying guns at Gander Mountain.

Pa John
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Pa John

My only “criticism” of the C9 is that for the same size, weight, and money, you can get a carry gun with higher capacity. Price is no longer a problem when you look at the Taurus PT-111 Millennium G2 and newer G2C’s (the G2C’s are identical, just minus the goofy keyed slide lock that nobody liked or used on the older G2’s), commonly available for ~$200. They come with TWO 12 round magazines (or two 10 rounders if you live in a commie state). Every now and then Taurus will have a rebate going on these models too, which drops… Read more »

Paul
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Paul

I bought aC9 over 20 years ago with a compensated barrel. To this day it is still fun to shoot and it cycles very well every time I shoot it. And with a lifetime warranty you can’t beat it. And back then it only cost a little over a hundred dollars.

mikeL
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mikeL

I have a C-9. Purchased 5 years ago. Why you ask? Money was tight. $241 later I have a pistol that shoots n shoots. Granted, have had a few ftf’s, but also have m&p shields in 9mm n .40 and have that issue also. I mostly keep my C-9 close to where I spend most of my time. I have 4 10 rnd mags, and 3 8 rnd mags. Whenst I do take it to the range, it’s like a hungry beast screaming feed me. I run different rounds continually thru it. I carry my shields as the C-9 is… Read more »

Charles Moore
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Charles Moore

The Hi-Point is probably more likely to save your life with ammo it likes. The S&Ws might get you killed sometime when their recoil springs decide to wander about and tie the gun up when you need it most. I have one that has seized solid twice and tried to twice more in 2-1/2 years. Why do you NEVER hear of reviwers bringing this up?? Sucking up for a paycheck? A simple mill cut in the face of the barrel recoil lug (that virtually everybody else applies) would solve that “minor” problem. The SDs, M&Ps, Shields and all have this… Read more »

willyd
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willyd

I have owned Hi-Points, Carbines and pistols, Had good had a couple of problems. Most of my problems were with Ammo, stick with P+ and problems clear up, 1st pistol was great, traded off for a pricey 45, 2nd a whole different story, stove pipe, broken magazine springs, I thought I really screwed up, I called the factory and was told to send everything back, all went back, gun came back repaired, all magazines replaced, no charge. 3 months later, problems again, stove pipe again, I sent it back a second time with a letter that I couldn’t handle it… Read more »

Big e
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Big e

I have all the pistols. Best hand guns dollar for dollar on the market. Have shot thousands of rounds through them over the years, both manufactured and hand load and had very few problems with them. Their customer service is better than anyone out there. If you need parts call them and they will send them to you for free. I have complete spring sets, trigger sets and firing pins for each gun at home for no cost to me. Let haters be haters. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Most just look and say that the guns are crap… Read more »

Roy D. Mercer
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Roy D. Mercer

While reading the comments I kept hearing faint strains of banjo music.

Mr. Bill
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Mr. Bill

Time to get your meds checked, again.

Wild Bill
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Wild Bill

@Mr. Bill Yes, his aural perception as a direct response to visual stimulation is evidence of a psychotic episode. Roy D. Mercer could very well by a danger to himself or the public, by his own admissions.

Charles Moore
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Charles Moore

R.D. Mercer. Funny! “I’m fixin’ to come on down there and open up a can of . . . . ” Haven’t listened to any of that stuff for quite a while. Gonna have to look up some of that on YouTube now.

Jd
Guest
Jd

I have a .45acp hi-point with a polished feed ramp and I wouldn’t trade it for anything, I have put hundreds of rounds through it, of all different types of ammo. I have found mine doesn’t like Speer dot gold the lead at the tip smashes on the feed ramp and won’t chamber but full jacketed ammo loads every time, unless it’s UMC ammo and I have had problems with it on every one of my guns. I can hit a quarter and a nickel size target dot every time at 50+ feet with my hi-point .45, and so can… Read more »

Gordon Beavers
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Gordon Beavers

Like you I have the .45 ACP hi-point and I wouldn’t trade it for anything the only problem is I can’t buy a hi-point handgun in my state now and I would like to get another hi-point handgun in a 9mm handgun, because my .45 is so reliable and every time I take it out to shoot it goes boom I’ve never had a single problem and I ordered a 9mm hi-point carbine because I’ve found I like the quality of the product and being American made and there warranty is hard to beat who cares if it’s ugly and… Read more »

maxwell carter
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maxwell carter

burgandy bomber is a goddess !!! all that and she can shoot your eye out at 25 yards !!! God bless her little heart !!!

Spurs6
Guest
Spurs6

HiPoint has done much to improve their reliability. The new ones are much better than the older models both in reliability and accuracy. The pistols shoot where you point them, so work on YOUR accuracy…the carbines not so much (3” group at 50 yards? Come on HiPoint, you can do better). The HiPoint guarantee and customer service is terrific…much better than some of those snooty, boutique-brand, custom made safe queens we all have bought. Buy one, keep it clean and serviceable (and on the wet side with a good oil) and for you knitters and chess players out there, strengthen… Read more »

Stephan Meloche
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Stephan Meloche

You mentioned 3 inch groups at 50 yards with your carbines. I have not had this issue. I have both a .45 and the new 10mm (btw the extended mags for the .45 work in the 10mm) and have exceptional groups. I consistently get 2 1/4 inch groups at 100 yards with the 10mm and about 3 inch at 100 with the .45. at 50 yards I’m usually stacking shots with either piece. I typically notice the groups opening up at 75 yards. This is with iron sights by the way (I don’t believe in red dots)

Billll
Guest
Billll

Replace the assembly pins with threaded fasteners that hold the bolt shroud securely to the action and watch your groups shrink.

maxwell carter
Guest
maxwell carter

just an observation.. the honor defense rounds didn’t look like they were powerfull enough to fully cycle the slide… it appeared to be short stroking..

Charles Moore
Guest
Charles Moore

Saw that, too. I’ve run into that with Hornady Critical Defense Lite and Sig V-Crown 365s in a full size 9mm. The light loads specifically tailored for small pistols will not cycle the mass of the slide on the Hi-Points or the stronger springs on some pistols.

Oldguysrule
Guest
Oldguysrule

My own experience is that:
If you clean, and lubricate it with high quality materials, and use good quality ammunition,
The high point has been a joy to own.
I had a glock 17 previously. Couldn’t wait to get rid of that glock.. Shells ejected in my face, take down pin too small, and ammo picky.
Hi point, though a bit heavier, actually balanced better. Shoots well, with no issues, And I do not get spent cases in my face. Btw, which is also why I pass on the S/W m+p. Much prefer S/A XD series as better choice..

Charles Moore
Guest
Charles Moore

See my reply to mikeL above on the S&Ws.

Roland Venne
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Roland Venne

Hi-point got a rap like Taurus did. Do I own one, no.. will i… probably not. Are they ugly… yes . But they work and like it said in the article, they were intended for those who need protection who dont have money for fancy.

Brad B
Guest
Brad B

I had a c9, trigger broke in half after 15 rounds. Don’t trust your life on one!

The Pink Spartan
Guest
The Pink Spartan

Well, see, Hi Point will gladly replace that broken trigger for you.

When you buy a Hi Point, take it to the range and run it through as much ammo as you can afford for the range time. If it breaks, send it back to hi point and they will fix it or replace it at no cost to you. If it survives those first few hundred rounds, you have a gun that will probably last longer than you do provided you take care of it.

Stacy Leighton
Guest
Stacy Leighton

I wouldn’t trust a gun that brakes after 15 rounds I would send it in to get fixed then I would sell it for what I could get out of it. I have had a Jimenez 380 acp and a 9mm both had less then 500 rounds before the firing pin brake and that’s the last time I went cheap on a gun I now have a para ordinance 1911 no issues after the brake in point

Nicholas Hunt
Guest
Nicholas Hunt

I own the Hi-point JCP40 and 4095ts. Both are super dependable shooters. The JCP40 is a Beast. Weighs as much as my 12 gauge. Kicks about the same and probably about the same range of distance for hitting a target. If ya don’t have plugs in your ears then you’ll be deaf for 2-3 days after firing a round. But it fires every time. The Carbine sibling is a princess in comparison and the favorite if ya wanna get technical. But I never said that…….

Tim R
Guest
Tim R

I have had several Hi-Point C9s and a couple of the carbines. The guns are incredibly accurate and reliable. Little bit heavy on top. But so am I. For the money it can’t be beat. Life time warranty no questions asked. The only problem I ever had with any of them was bad ammo. It was not the guns fault. I had some weak loads but the guns are great. The only reason I don’t have them now is I started a new collection of only one brand. But I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend a High Point to a new… Read more »

Jack A Furbush
Guest
Jack A Furbush

I traded a lady friend a Gen 2 Glock 17 for the Hi Point pistol I have. I did this because I feared for her life after she ended a relationship with a phycos boyfriend. She actually ended up blowing him away. He took 13 of the 17 rounds to put him down. Being that the Hi Point she purchased new won’t get through a magazine without a stoppage, she probably would be the one to end up dead that night.

Rick Middlebrooks
Guest
Rick Middlebrooks

Sorry to hear that the only Hi-Point you’ve ever used hasn’t fed ammo reliably since the day it was purchased. However, good news for you! Hi-Point has a lifetime no-questions-asked warranty and doesn’t care if you’re the original owner or not. Contact them and tell them the problem. They’ll take it and either fix it or give you a new pistol. Then try it and see if your range experience doesn’t match what most everyone else is telling you. I’ve got lots of more expensive pistols, plus a couple of Hi-Point JHP .45s and their .45 carbine. My Hi-Points have… Read more »

David Brown
Guest
David Brown

Had a Hi Point C9 for well over 20 years first one slide was loose sent in and they replaced it with a brand new gun , I’ve had that gun well 10 years it shoots just as good as my police friends Glock and it has never let me down for has it ever jammed

John J Trevino
Guest
John J Trevino

I own a c-9 and use it as a truck gun. I own other guns that run better, but the Hi point shoots great! The trigger is my only complaint. The gun is die hard and will run after abuse and neglect.

Dale
Guest
Dale

I live in Montana and owned a High Point for about 10 years. In 10 years we probably shot 1000 rounds through it. In 10 years it was never cleaned. In 10 years it spent all of its life under the seat of our truck. In 10 years it went through three boys learning to shoot. The gun has been dropped in the snow and in the dirt. In 10 years it has always shot a full clip through it. I have some very expensive guns in the gun case that are treated like royalty, and those guns have jammed… Read more »

Mike
Guest
Mike

I agree that the Hi-Point pistol does fill a niche, just like the Ford Pinto, 75% lean ground beef, and dollar store hammers. Maybe that’s a little harsh, but there’s definitely a confidence gap that is associated with budget pistol, and it’s offered earned. There thing I always am surprised by, though, is there the contrast in popularity between the C9 and the pistol-caliber carbines Hi-Point (used to?) sell.

Wayne
Guest
Wayne

I own one and it is a piece of crap! Should be called high point jamomatic. I have never been able to shoot a full clip through it.

Steve
Guest
Steve

First off, it’s not a “clip”, it’s a magazine. Second, have your properly cleaned and lubricated it? What kind of ammo have you tried?

Jack A Furbush
Guest
Jack A Furbush

Your wrong. Even the NRA recognizes that the term clip and magazine are interchangeable in the common usage. We all know the difference but they both feed ammunition so it’s irrelevant. I have a Hi Point pistol. It is a POS. It’s never gotten through a full magazine with out a stoppage. I have 4 mags and it chokes with all of them. I also have a Raven .25 acp and a Jennings .22 LR pistol. Nither one of these very inexpensive pistols has ever quit. Like the Hi Point these little pistols were intended for people that can’t afford… Read more »

JPM
Guest
JPM

I don’t give a flying fig who claims a magazine and a clip are interchangeable terms. The items are not interchangeable and the terms aren’t either. Wrong is wrong no matter what the NRA (Wayne LaPierre’s personal cash cow) or anyone else claims. The NRA apparently doesn’t know the difference or is trying to change the terminology to suit their own purposes. I’ll bet LaPierre called a magazine a clip one day and someone in the office nailed him on it and he decided that “His Majesty LaPierre cannot admit fault”, hence the decision to try and change the terminology… Read more »

MikeRoss
Guest
MikeRoss

But clips don’t always feed ammunition, sometimes clips are used to fill magazines. Where did the NRA say the terms are interchangeable?

Jim
Guest
Jim

That problem is feeding to fast.
Empty the mag. Gently pinch with pliers the wings at top of the mag. If it still over feed. Pinch it some more. These works

KCsmith
Guest
KCsmith

No, you’re wrong.
Clip and Magazine are not interchangeable.
Get a dictionary.

And who admits to owning a Jennings, a Raven, and a HiPoint??

Jim
Guest
Jim

Yes they are

Hugh
Guest
Hugh

I loved my Jennings 22, hate that I sold it. Never owned a HighPoint, but may I e day.

Vanns40
Guest
Vanns40

Baloney. Show me where the NRA has said their instructors can teach that the words “clips and magazines” are interchangeable in meaning. I’ve been an instructor for more decades than I can count and I teach the difference in every class.

I’ll wait for you to show me where they’ve revised that right along side of the revision that says “blended training” was such a fabulous idea! (Instructors will know exactly what I’m talking about)

Ryan
Guest
Ryan

“more decades than you can count” ? If you really can’t count over 4, I don’t think you should be instructing anything… I have owned a c9 as well. Had to hold the magazine in place while firing or it would just fall out. Would usually make it through the whole thing without jamming, maybe 90% of the time I’d say. And the internal safeties are a bit of a joke, thin metal tab to keep the trigger from moving but nothing to prevent striker from releasing if jarred or dropped. Definitely serves a purpose and it’s definitely better than… Read more »

John
Guest
John

Hey Furbush (what kind of name is that?) the NRA does NOT use the terms interchangeably. they are two completely different items much as a revolver is different from a semi-auto. and fr what it is worth–the damn Hi-Points wild low in cost actually out
shoot the big bucks guns a bunch, and you will not cry if you scratch one–but scratch that $900 Kimber and the tears will flow.

Galen Bywater
Guest
Galen Bywater

I’ll take that POS and mags off your hands for a reasonable price, look me up. Since we are talking about a USED POS, lets negotiate a realistic low price.

Charles Moore
Guest
Charles Moore

A magazine feeds ammo. A clip LOADS a MAGAZINE.

David Warren
Guest
David Warren

I was range qualifying with a Taurus pt-92. Wasn’t satisfied with what was going down range.switched to my Hi- Point 45.Was hitting nothing but center for the rest of qualifying.Also, I always wondered why the high dollar pieces never come with life time warranty?just picked up my new Canek 9mm ,Series one pistol today, with a life time warranty..!hint hint Kimber, Colt,Smith Wesson.not saying their bad firearms, just for 3 times the price,,,,,,come on.

Ed Dane
Guest
Ed Dane

I believe that Smith & Wesson does offer a life time warranty.

Rick Middlebrooks
Guest
Rick Middlebrooks

Unfortunately, they don’t have a lifetime warranty. See here: https://www.smith-wesson.com/customer-service/warranty

It a limited one-year warranty, only for the original purchaser—it doesn’t transfer to another owner. They do have a Lifetime Service Policy (not a warranty), but it, too, applies only to the original purchaser, is only on certain models, and requires that the registration card was sent to S&W within 30 days of purchase. All the ins and outs of this are explained at the link.

Not a bad warranty, but it doesn’t hold a candle to Hi-Point’s warranty.

Evan
Guest
Evan

A Hi-Point is better than nothing. Most other guns are better than a Hi-Point.

The people who say that Hi-Points are useless are wrong, but there’s also a reason that they cost $199. They aren’t as good as most more expensive guns. If you desperately need a gun and can’t afford anything better, a Hi-Point beats a Jimenez or most other low end pistols like that. But I’d take my Glock over a Hi-Point any day.

James M
Guest
James M

I have a Hi-Point 45acp and only bought it because I had recently had elbow and wrist surgery and I didn’t want to spend a lot if I couldn’t handle the recoil of a 45 any longer. Is it Ugly YES – Is it Heavy YES. But I don’t buy a firearm for looks. Since my purchase I have put approximately 5000 rounds of different types of ammo through it and never had a single issue with it. Its as accurate today as the day I purchased it and probably more so today. As far as dependability it’s as good… Read more »